Planetfest and Mars!

Subject: Planetfest and Mars!
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 1997 17:44:35 -0400 (EDT)

This certainly has been one of the most exciting weeks of my life!  The
AMAZING success of the Pathfinder (now Carl Sagan Memorial) Lander and the
Rover, Sojourner, is unbelievable.  I was lucky enough to attend Planetfest
over the 4th and 5th - how wonderful to share the excitement with thousands
of people wanting nothing but the best for this wonderful endeavor.  I sat in
on Geoff's presentation on Live from Mars just before the first signals of
the landing were supposed to come in.  He was quite excited and could barely
contain himself, knowing that in minutes word was due to come in telling the
world whether Pathfinder successfully landed or not.  The next day, I was
co-presenting the LFM workshop, just as everyone was waiting for word on
whether the Rover would successfully respond to JPL's commands to drive off
the Lander.  I couldn't believe this was all really happening!  What I am
particularly excited about is that I saw several of my students there (our
school is so close to Pasadena) and I feel extremely proud that through my
participation in Live from Mars I was able to involve them in this mission in
a way they never would have experienced otherwise.  I could tell they too
were very proud, as THEY explained to their parents the details of what was
going on at any given moment.

Jan Wee was there, tirelessly running the Passport to Knowledge booth, along
with Peggy Gebhart, Dave Eggebrecht, and Sheri Klug (giving presentations).
 There were book signing sessions with the likes of Buzz Aldrin and Kim
Stanley Robinson.  Got to see Mark Siegel and Linda Conrad.  And... wasn't it
fun, when news from JPL was broadcast (on CNN, etc.), recognizing all the
those familiar scientists and engineers from our LFM live video broadcasts?  

For 4 days now I have been running to the television every 1/2 hour to catch
the top of the news as well as scanning channels for other coverage, every
time eager for more data, more pictures! 

This really has been a most amazing week.

Theresa Hall